Why Use the No-Huddle Offense?
By Walt Kruegel, Offensive Coordinator
James City Jaguars
Over the many years that I have coached from Pop Warner to High School, one of the most important things that I have realized is that opposing football teams are not in the proper condition to prepare for a No-Huddle team.
Running the No-Huddle offense makes it extremely difficult to prepare for as the plays and offensive blocking scheme are signaled in from the sideline and the ball is snapped as soon as the ball is put into play. The opposing defensive coordinator lays awake at night tying to devise a scheme that will slow the No-Huddle down which executed and practiced daily, can’t be stopped. The defensive players on the field have no idea which way the play is going because we have changed formations quickly and altered the attack point.
The formations can and often will be changed by the OC once he sees what type of defense they are aligned in and the players are well versed in signal recognition which puts them in the best position to run a successful play. I made a video of our hand signals for our players that they can review at any time and it gives them latitude to quiz each other when they are not active on the field during practice. It quite literally looks like we have a deaf team out there with our hands and arms moving in all different directions.
After the first few series of the No-Huddle, defenses are so winded and tired that they miss their assignments which seriously puts them at a disadvantage. I recall a game a few years ago in which we ran the same play consecutively out of ten different formations when the whistle blew and put the ball into play. You may say that is too many formations to learn, but I can tell you we scored on four of the ten plays. The opposing defense was so tired at the end of the first quarter they had to substitute the second and third team players in just so their starting five could have a break. We went on to win the game handily and that year we averaged 50 points per game and won the league championship.
Keys to running the No-Huddle offense are very easy to master. I will explain how we do it and, of course, it can be varied to suit your team.
1. Condition all year long if possible – Plyos are great year round.
2. Condition during practice instead of before or after practice. What I mean by this is that we have footballs lined up on the field as follows:
The O-line lines up in a 5 man set or 6 man if you use an end. The ball is snapped to a coach in the gun position, feet at 4.5 yards and the entire line bocks zone right until they get to the next football. The O-line will continue this scheme until they reach the 50 yard line. Without resting, the line will line up again as previously, and run zone left. We do this for 3 complete series up and back. We run all of our plays with the same football set-up down and back. This is a great way to condition the players without them knowing they are being conditioned. We had a couple of linemen join the team this year because they were told the line didn’t condition well.
3. The skill players condition the same way as the O-line up and down to the 50 yard line but use a different setup as our slots and wide-outs block 60% of the time. This is because we run a lot of jet and jet sweep. The set-up for skills conditioning as follows:
“X” and “Y” stalks the corner and executes a cross block on the SS. “H” and “Z” uses the “half distance rule” (half the distance between himself and the SS) and cross blocks the corner. This separates the DB’s in opposite directions allowing for a gaping hole provided the end is not allowed to penetrate to his assignment which is waiting for the cut-back or reverse.
4. The next conditioning scheme that we use integrates the “H” back, “Z” back and “T” back. We do this daily to not only condition the slots and backs, but to perfect the timing on the mesh during jet sweep. The set-up is the same as above except that the QB motions BOTH “H” and “Z” at the same time with a hand movement. (this is done for practice only for timing purposes).
5. The mesh is “simulated” to both backs at the same time while crossing the QB. “T” flares alternating left and right on each snap taking 3 hard steps before he snaps his head around looking for the football, simulating a check-down by the QB.
For those of you who are interested in learning more about the conditioning schemes and my offense that averages 40-50 points per game, send an email to email@example.com and I would be more than happy to discuss football with you.